Posted by By James Trimble September 21, 2022 on Oct 13th 2022

Falkirk lifesaver dad's marathon challenge

Falkirk lifesaver dad's marathon challenge

Jim McLelland (52), from Falkirk, ran to Andrew Niven’s aid when he collapsed suddenly on a night out with their wives in Falkirk town centre’s Wine Library bar – a

night that could have turned to tragedy had it not been for Jim’s quick thinking.

Realising how serious the situation was, Jim immediately called 999 and began CPR, as they waited for the emergency services.

There was a defibrillator on the wall outside the bar which Jim used, before a first responder and paramedics arrived to take over and Andrew was taken to hospital.

Jim’s actions helped ensure Andrew had the best chance of survival and the retired dad-of-two and grandfather-of-four has now gone on to make a full recovery.

Jim said: “When I look back on the day, I am just glad I was there to help. By sheer coincidence, I had been on my first aid refresher course a few weeks before, but I never expected to be called on to use it so soon and on such a close friend.

"It just goes to show how important CPR is.”

Jim and wife Gillian decided they wanted to do something to raise awareness of the importance of CPR and defibrillators and the research carried out by the British Foundation (BHF) into heart and circulatory diseases.

The couple signed up for the TCS London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday October 2. to raise funds for BHF – the biggest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in Scotland.

Andrew says he has no recollection of his cardiac arrest, which happened back in August 2021, but he knows he owes his life to best pal Jim.

“I can’t remember a thing,” he said. “It was a total bolt out of the blue. One minute we were all enjoying a night out and the next I was in hospital. But for my wife Gillian

to have to watch what was happening – and Jim and his wife Gillian – I can only imagine how frightening it must have been.

“It took a while for it all to sink in, to be honest. If it wasn’t for Jim, I might not be here now. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to be at my side that night. Jim was

already a good friend but now there is a special bond.

“Last month we were able to get together and celebrate one year on. Thank you is not enough and the team at the Wine Library, the first responder, paramedics and

hospital staff were all just superb in everything they did for me.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at BHF, said: “We never fail to be inspired by the incredible stories of our supporters and Jim, Gillian, Andrew and Gillian are no exception. By taking part in the TCS London Marathon 2022, Jim and Gillian will help the BHF turbo charge pioneering research into regenerative medicine.